BioShock 2 Reviews

AuthorReview
ButterflyEdge
283,722 (178,073)
ButterflyEdge
TA Score for this game: 1,257
Posted on 12 February 10 at 18:11, Edited on 23 February 10 at 20:28
This review has 106 positive votes and 24 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I have kept this review spoiler free, but please note this does contain spoilers for the first BioShock.

Also, this does not include an online review of the game.
_________

Andrew Ryan - the person behind Rapture, who created this world for ‘no Gods or kings, only man’, beyond the control of governments - has been dead for ten years, but somehow the city is still thriving. Splicers remain; Big Daddies still patrol, and they still have a Little Sister by their side.

There’s an unfamiliar voice running through the city, someone has taken control over these years, and this person is Sophia Lamb, a psychiatrist and a political rival of Ryan in the past.

Where Ryan ran the city for the more shallow ‘we can all do what we want’ side of things, Lamb believes strongly in the people of the city, the community, coming together for ‘the greater good’ as part of what she calls ‘The Family’. It becomes apparent that the many unhinged people of Rapture are in fact following her and her religion, and a strong cult has formed. And while the people of Rapture blindly follow, her true intentions are far darker than you could imagine.

You play a Big Daddy, an early Prototype known only as Delta. You wake up, face down on the grotty floor of Rapture. Not knowing who you are, why you are there and only a very vague idea of how you got there in the first place.

You are the first Big Daddy to have ever gone through the process of ‘bonding’ with a Little Sister, making the bind between you and this one girl – Eleanor - an incredible force to be reckoned with. Your one and only goal it to find this girl, and it seems that nothing that is thrown in your path is enough to stop you from tracking her down.

Delta is not an average Big Daddy, he can use Plasmids. He can in fact duel wield his Plasmid with which ever weapon you choose. Weapons range from the horrifically effective Big Daddy signature drill, to a ‘spear gun’ which brutally and graphically pins targets to walls by their limbs. Weapons and Plasmids can be quickly cycled through and changed pausing combat as you do so, enabling you to deal devastating combinations on the many monsters of Rapture during your travels.

Tonics return but are no longer limited to specific ‘tracks’ and you now any combination of tonics can be used without the limits of them being labelled ‘Physical’ or ‘Engineering’, for example.

The hacking system remains. You can still use the familiar method of zapping and hacking that many had no doubt mastered, but you now come equipped with a hack dart gun, allowing you to hack from a distance. The water pipe mini game has been replaced with a much simpler process – only this no longer pauses combat, occasionally leaving you to hack, whilst being attacked from all angles.

Rapture remains eerily familiar, still beautiful, despite a decade of decay. The constantly unsettling, sinister yet serene atmosphere remains, keeping you on the edge of your seat… be it through awe and wonderment or… abject terror. The city of Rapture is still living and still breathing, still teeming with life ready to kill you in a heartbeat. Yes the Splicers return more twisted and vicious than before, some mutated beyond recognition through years of plasmid and tonic abuse. These Splicers still lurk in groups, with some “fresh” faces amongst them. The game manages to keep things fresh by populating previously explored areas with wandering Splicers, scavenging and bickering amongst their selves. This means that combat is rarely far away and serves to keep you constantly on your toes with nasty surprises and fights that you most likely won’t be prepared for.

The Big Daddies still patrol with their little ones, and just like the first, you will have to take out the protector in order to gain access to the Little Sisters and their ADAM; the vital substance that is what Rapture revolves around, which enables you to enhance yourself with the various Plasmids and Tonics in whichever way you choose.

Only this time, it goes much further than simply getting the Little Sister alone; you have the choice to ‘Adopt’ her. If you wish, you can simply harvest her on the spot for a quick fix of ADAM, but just like the first game, she will not survive this process, but this is the cost of the convenience.

If you choose to adopt the Little Sister, you will carry her and she will lead you to an ADAM-filled corpse, which she will collect from. However, the sweet smell of the ADAM brings all Splicers running, and you must defend your little one while she does her collecting. This can become a detailed process of setting traps, hacking nearby security and taking advantage of your surroundings to defend her and yourself which she does her little duty.

Once done you return her to a vent, where once again you will be given a choice; To rescue her – to save the little girl behind it all, but gain minimum ADAM from the process - or again, to harvest her, to remove maximum ADAM from her for you to splash out with, but killing her in doing so..

Regardless of how you ‘deal’ with these Little Sisters, the second you save or harvest the last little one, a haunting, shrill scream can be heard in the distance. The screaming will send a shiver down your spine like nothing else, and this will continue, getting closer until she finds you. She is a Big Sister. Big Sisters are Little Sisters, all grown up. Looking over and ‘protecting’ the current little ones that have now been forced into the cruel position they once found themselves in all those years back.

Once you are found, the Big Sister will not leave. She will pursue until you – or she – ends up dead. The Big Sisters are much like the Big Daddies, strong, tough, and powerful. Only, on top of that, the Big Sisters have the ability to use Plasmids, and are incredibly agile making a tough fight for even the well equipped.

One aspect that BioShock 2 shares with its predecessor is the feeling of self sufficiency the game creates. Your survival and progression is dependant on you, the Plasmids and Tonic combinations you choose and your inventory. The game makes you use everything effectively. Weapons don’t hold a generous amount of ammunition and a heavy fight can easily leave your favourite weapon ammo-less. Even as a Big Daddy you truly feel like you are fighting and scavenging for survival, which is how the city of Rapture has ran for some time. The feeling of ‘dog eat dog’ is never far away, even the Splicers fight amongst themselves, everything is about survival.

Communication with all characters is still traditionally radio based. And although the game is filled with varying personalities, none of them come close to grasping that brilliant level of passion, insanity and instability that the likes of Sander Cohen did previously. But on another level, all characters will have you questioning their motives after the betrayal witnessed in Rapture first time round.

Where the first game had only one fairly simple, major decision or route that would sway the end of the game, this one has several. Several key decisions that you must make throughout the story will influence how your game ends, on many levels.

While BioShock 2 is overall a brilliant return to Rapture, regardless of the motives and reasoning behind it, it struggles to escape the shadow of its predecessor. It has its own unique, breathtaking moments but it fails to deliver such a wow-factor that was seen back in Ryan’s office. But with Rapture now being a familiar surrounding to many people, would it be unreasonable to expect something to have that same effect all over again? Is it even possible to get such an effect from the follow up to the game that did this so well before? Perhaps the anticipation and expectations left by the first is in fact what makes BioShock 2 the tense, mysterious and fantastic experience that it is.

8/10


I know I am not a strong reviewer. I am trying to improve so please leave your criticisms, they are actually highly appreciated. I don't know how to improve if people don't tell me, so please feel free to share your thoughts! Thanks!
Given 4 stars by ButterflyEdge
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mudE13
96,989 (74,030)
mudE13
TA Score for this game: 1,403
Posted on 02 April 10 at 17:31, Edited on 11 January 13 at 04:11
This review has 24 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Hey Smokin' Gamer back again with another (Somewhat) Quick Review. I review all my games in six areas: STORY, GAMEPLAY, GRAPHICS, SOUND/MUSIC, REPLAY VALUE, and PRICE VALUE. I grade each area on a 1-10 scale (10=masterpiece, 5=average as average can be, 1=horrendous/unplayable).


BIOSHOCK 2: Bioshock is one of my favorite games of all time. It was the first game I bought for my 360 and I will never forget sitting in the dark, with my LCD, 5.1 audio, and watching as I entered Rapture for the first time. It was one of the first games where I thought that games can be works of art. Of course I knew Bioshock 2 wasn't going to be the same way, but I still had very high hopes for it. Were they met? Let's find out as we dive in...he he...to Bioshock 2!!!


STORY: Ok I'm not going to spoil anything from this game. Nor am I going to spoil anything from the first one (but if you haven't played it by now YOU HAVE TO PLAY it...IT IS AMAZING). What I will say is you play as the prototype Big Daddy. You are "reactivated" about 10 years after the first game. Your mission is to find your little sister who you believe to be your real daughter. Along the way you will have to face the main antagonist, who is Lamb, and many splicers. Plus you have to deal with those nasty Big Sisters. As for the rest of the story it is solid. Now it doesn't have as many twist and turns as the first but it still shows that the series knows how to tell a great story. The only downside, like the first, is that the ending seems just...average. Both games endings are good, but they just seem...well...a tiny little bitty bit of a letdown. Still they are both well worth playing to the end, but they just don't have that extra little "umf".

(STORY: 8.5/10)

GAMEPLAY: This was the biggest improvement from the first. Not only can you duel wield plasmids and guns, but you also have a rivet gun and that beastly drill. Your plasmids can be upgraded to awesomeness and the game offers some pretty exciting new weapons. Also hacking a machine no longer means playing a pipe mini game. It is done in real time with a gauge system and makes for a quicker (and deadlier) experience. You can also choose to harvest or adopt a little sister. If you adopt her, you can take her to dead bodies (angels) to get more Adam. But while she does this, you have to make sure that the waves of enemies do no harm to her or yourself. This offers many intense battles and is one of the main highlights of the game. It's a great risk/reward system. Or you can be a nasty son of a biscuit eater and just harvest them all (but fair warning, there are a few achievements you won't be able to get by doing this). All in all A+ job on the gameplay.

(GAMEPLAY: 10/10)

GRAPHICS: This is kind of a tricky one. At some points of the game, the graphics are jaw dropping. But at other points, they can't stop popping in and out (and no, I was not playing with the higher framerate turned on). There really is no "oh my lord" moments like the first game. But the game nowhere near looks bad as most games on the market. It's still above the rest, but not always on par as the first.

(GRAPHICS: 8.5/10)

SOUND/MUSIC: It's fantastic. Playing with 5.1 is a MUST!!! PERIOD!!!

(SOUND/MUSIC: 10/10)

REPLAY VALUE: Now I know this is the part many people are going to disagree with. I LIKE THE MULTIPLAYER!!! No it is not as deep and complex as the C.O.D. series or even Bad Company 2, but it is still fun. There are only five different game types (I think) and I have a good time playing all of them. It can be laggy and the graphics pop more than ever, but I find it to be very enjoyable experience. You can choose your character, customize them and their weapons, and have different Load Outs (similar to C.O.D. Classes). Of course the single player does offer replay value with multiple decisions and endings. One thing that does seem to be a recent issue is the first DLC. I myself was curious why the DLC was so small in size (as in file size) and I do agree that it was kind of shady on the developers’ part. In case you don't know, the Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack DLC is already on the disc. When you purchase the DLC from Xbox Live, you simply unlock it from your disc. I sort of understand why they did this (they said they did this so players who did not buy the DLC could still play with players who did buy it), but the plain fact is they wanted to make money. Whoo...I really got sidetracked. I just had to give my two cents on that subject. They have also released a single player DLC (well worth it) as well as The Protector Trials (see my Bioshock 2: The Protector Trials DLC review for more info). Anyways, there is a ton of replay value and you could easily hold off on the DLC for a good while.

(REPLAY VALUE: 9/10)

PRICE VALUE: Now I originally wrote this review when this game was brand new, but that was a few years ago. The game is now dirt cheap with a new copy going for about $15-$20 and a used one for about $9. So is it worth it? YES!!! Even if you don't touch the multiplayer, the single player will keep you busy for a long time. The gameplay is better than the first, it has more frantic and epic battles, it solved the minor problems of the first, and it has a good story (which is left wide open for part 3). I hardly ever buy a game for $60, but this one was well worth it.

(PRICE VALUE: 10/10)


(OVERALL: 9/10)

Bioshock 2 keeps the series alive with fantastic gameplay, beautiful graphics, and a good story. Like all games, there are some flaws, but they can be easily overlooked. This is a game worth buying and keeping. Stay tuned for more quick reviews here at TrueAchievements.com. If you liked this review check out my other ones: Resident Evil 5, Grand Theft Auto 4, Dante’s Inferno, Mega Man 10, Bionic Commando, Wanted: Weapons of Fate, Terminator: Salvation, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Call of Duty 3, and The Walking Dead.
Given 4 stars by mudE13
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Xantiriad
139,521 (107,030)
Xantiriad
TA Score for this game: 1,558
Posted on 31 January 11 at 16:19
This review has 18 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bioshock 2 follows on 10 years after the conclusion of the original game. Through a series of plot contrivances the world of Rapture has managed to survive and blossom into one ruled by a new zealot: Sofia Lamb. You find yourself thrust into the world as a prototype Big Daddy, revived some years after your original death.

Bioshock 2's principle villain is Sofia Lamb who is basically an Anti-Ryan. She's a psychological communist (or 'collectivist') which is interesting opposite to Ryan's objectivism, but her story does feel much smaller and shoe-horned in to the established history. As before you can hunt for the audio diaries which reveal more about her, the build up to the civil war, and her involvements with Ryan and Fontaine. Attempts are made to try to explain the continuity problems by having Lamb is locked up in prison during the first game, but I find it odd that she and Sinclair survive 10 years in Rapture, whilst the rest of the population splice themselves into madness?

The story develops very slowly this time around, and the narrative highlights come much later in the game. In fact, the game's standout moment doesn't come until much nearer the game's finale. Bioshock 2's is interesting as a side-story, but it just never reaches the dramatic highs and dark lows of the original. I can't help feeling part of the problem is playing as a Big Daddy. It devalues one of the iconic enemies of the last few years, forcing Bioshock 2 to introduce more sub-boss characters and back story to compensate.

The game design of Bioshock 2 largely remains unchanged. The locations feel a little more linear this time around, and some of the mini games have been simplified or completely removed (sadly the Pipe-dream hacking mini-game and ammo creation has gone). Each level is structured around solving some basic puzzles, adopting a number of little sisters, performing ADAM harvests, and then engaging in mini boss battles vs Big Sisters. Bioshock 2 definitely feels much more action orientated, and the ADAM harvests are some of the highlights of the game: these require you to employ traps and counter-measures so that your adopted Little Sister can harvest ADAM from a corpse. There are far more gameplay options in Bioshock 2 via the improved Plasmid-Tonics system, which enable you to develop completely different Big Daddy traits: from tank to stealth, or plasmid mage to soldier.

Bioshock 2 features a competitive multiplayer mode with the usual game types - which are given Rapture twists. It works as well as can be expected, although the relative high power of the plasmids and weapons make each round feel like a frantic frag-fest. Personally, I didn't enjoy it.

Bioshock 2 proves yet again that Rapture is a wonderful game world to be in. It looks both spectacular and dark, inspiring and horrifying. The changes largely improve on what Bioshock previously delivered, but at the cost of a weaker story and more linear progression. Fans of the original will appreciate some of the additional back story but may also question why we needed a return at all. That shouldn't detract from what is a very good game indeed.
Given 5 stars by Xantiriad
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got pez
74,999 (53,910)
got pez
TA Score for this game: 1,491
Posted on 06 July 10 at 03:56
This review has 17 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
It is hard to live up to expectations. After the massive critical and commercial success of Bioshock, the developers at 2k Marin were given the task of filling the immense shoes of one of the best games of this generation. Fans reluctantly awaited a return to Rapture in what seemed to be a doomed cash-in on Bioshock's success. After all, the story in Bioshock was very tight and didn't give any cliffhangers that needed to be tied up with a sequel. But in the grand scheme of things, can Bioshock 2 win over gamers everywhere?

In Bioshock 2, players assume the role of Subject Delta, the first Big Daddy to be successfully bonded to a Little Sister. Without spoiling anything, the game focuses on Subject Delta searching for his lost Little Sister in a crumbling Rapture. The developers have crafted a surprisingly great story here. It expands on the history of Rapture while still giving the player a goal that feels important. Once again, most of the backstory is presented through the numerous audio diaries hidden throughout Rapture and the tales told are compelling. One especially interesting series of diaries details the actions of a man from the surface venturing down into the underwater city to find his lost daughter. I didn't think it was possible to continue the tale of Rapture without tarnishing the first game's legacy. Indeed, Bioshock 2's story lives up to the franchise name.

2k Marin's decision put players in the massive diving suit isn't a surprising one; the brutal guardians of Rapture proved to be very popular among fans of the first game. The outcome of this decision can be called both a success and a failure. Subject Delta has all the tools you saw Big Daddies using in the first game, including the drill, rivet gun, proximity grenades etc. What the game fails to do is to provide the feeling of being an untouchable badass that a Big Daddy should be. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that I was playing through Bioshock 2 as the first game's protagonist with a drill. Subject Delta uses plasmids and takes just as much damage from regular splicers as Jack did in Bioshock 1. I understand that the developers didn't want to eliminate difficulty from the game by making the player a god amongst men, but why play as a Big Daddy if the only way you know it is by the characters constantly referring to you as one? It would have been a much better solution to make Subject Delta more resilient and eliminate the vita-chamber system in favor of checkpoints.

Further changes to the Bioshock formula were made for the sequel. Notably, the research camera from the first game is replaced with a video camera. The player receives research points for defeating enemies in "creative fashions" while on film. This system of receiving upgrades is actually even more tedious. Taking out research altogether seems to be the best option at this point if Bioshock 3 is ever developed. Hacking has also been changed from the pipe puzzles of the first game to a timing based quick time event. This is a much more effective system that doesn't disrupt the pacing of the game. The outcome of hacking is still the same; bots fight on your side and turrets fire at your enemies. I applaud 2k Marin for undoubtedly improving on one of Bioshock's main weaknesses. The last change made to Bioshock's gameplay formula is the addition of adopting Little Sisters. Instead of saving the sisters immediately after defeating a Big Daddy, Subject Delta can adopt the girl as his own to gather ADAM. What follows is a small quest to find corpses with ADAM and then protect the Little Sister as she extracts it. While this is an interesting premise to expand upon (you briefly did the same thing in Bioshock 1), it gets repetitive and annoying. Otherwise, you can harvest the sister and gain more ADAM in a shorter amount of time. The moral choice system is still very much black and white and it is aggravating that in order to get the good ending while still having enough ADAM to survive, you have to endure numerous boring protection missions.

On the visual side of things, Bioshock 2 is a somewhat attractive game. It looks very similar to Bioshock 1 due to it being built on the same Unreal engine. Rapture's 1950's art style and architecture is still great to look at but the water effects that stunned players in 2007 fail to impress in 2010. Splicers still look like plastic dolls due to their ridiculously shiny skin. Level design is far less diverse and memorable than Bioshock 1 and the underwater sections, while very pretty, are otherwise useless. The fact that the visuals can still be fun to look at after 3 years is a testament to how great the art style of Bioshock is. In any other setting, these graphics would fare far worse.

In Bioshock's 1950's esque world, record players everywhere are playing old jazz and show tunes. The atmosphere benefits from this reinforcement of Rapture's theme but it is nothing Bioshock veterans have never heard before. Voice acting is still top notch and the sound effects are solid. The game stands as a good sounding experience that won't offend many audiophiles.

A common complaint from the first game was the lack of a multiplayer component. It pains me to know that gamers nowadays can't accept a single player game on its own merits and need to be able to shoot their buddies to justify a price tag. The outcome of this is Bioshock 2's online component. Now you can shoot your friends and send a swarm of angry bees on them with a wave of your hand. The multiplayer stands in the middle ground of online shooters. It had too much effort put into it to be considered a tacked on rush job but it also isn't an essential component of the game like Halo. Balancing issues stop these deathmatches from ever being considered a true online juggernaut. The two best weapons in the game (by a long shot) are unlocked at the latest levels. Good luck getting kills early on with your six shooter when a veteran player can kill you in one shot at any range with his elephant gun. Plasmids and hacking are all dumbed down to fit the experience and they work fine for what they are. What really makes the online a mess is the introduction of a Big Daddy suit in matches. Players camp in front of the Big Daddy suit spawns in hopes of becoming the insanely bulky and unbalanced brute. Many times, the team who gets the Big Daddy suit for the longest amount of time wins the match. This element further lowers an online mode from being good to merely being decent.

Overall, Bioshock 2 is a successful sequel to a game that really didn't need one. Although the Big Daddy premise doesn't live up to its potential, the game still has the same Bioshock atmosphere and gameplay that we have all grown to know and love. The game is worth the price of admission with a 10 hour (give or take a few) single player experience packaged with a decent online portion. Welcome back to Rapture, folks.
Given 4 stars by got pez
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LessrOf2Weevils
74,681 (46,695)
LessrOf2Weevils
TA Score for this game: 915
Posted on 17 October 10 at 18:35
This review has 16 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I've gotta admit, I was a bit nervous about Bioshock 2. I loved the original, but when I had heard that it was being handed over to a new developer and that, gasp, on-line multiplayer was going to be added to the mix - well, I feared the worst. It turns out my fears were unfounded, mostly.

Bioshock 2 returns to rapture about 10 years after the original. This time, you play a big daddy, those lumbering brutes from the first game that protected the little sisters. However, your little sister was stolen from you and you were left for dead. Now you've returned with the mission to retrieve her.

Of course, there is more to it than that. Once again you are thrust into the middle of the power struggles in the crumbling underwater city of Rapture. This time the chief antagonist is one Sofia Lamb. Like Andrew Ryan from the first game, Lamb's ideology is absolute in her quest to make Rapture a utopia. However, where Ryan believed in the strength of the individual unfettered by the constraints of government and religion, Lamb believes in the power of the collective - the family.

The story unfolds using the same mechanisms as the first game. There are very few cut scenes (with the ones you have being first person). The narrative unfolds through your interaction with other characters and your discovery of audio diaries left scattered about - again, just like the first game. The world of Rapture feels the same. Graphically, it may have been stepped up a bit, but Rapture is still that damp, moldy, art deco hell that it always was. The atmosphere is once again perfect, intense, creepy, but not overpoweringly so.

Game play is, well - this is becoming a familiar refrain - just like the first game. Indeed, that would be my chief knock of the game. It almost seems like the developers were afraid to change too much and pretty much followed the same formula. Okay, you can now go two fisted with plasma powers in your left hand and weapons in your right, but really, is this much of a change? You could always switch from plasmas to weapons so fast that giving you both at the same time barely changes game play at all. The plasma powers have been more tweaked than rewritten. The new weapons and ammo types all work well and are very satisfying to use.

What is different is the way in which you harvest adam, the gene altering substance that gives you your powers. Before you wrestled with a big daddy and then took your adam from the little sister it was protecting. Now you have the option to adopte said little sister and cart her around looking for dead bodies - "angles" - for her to harvest. While she's sucking out the adam, it is your job to protect her from the horde of splicers (the adam junkies that populate Rapture) that will be coming. This new element is fun, especially with powers and weapons having a more trap options than before. Also new are the big sisters. These are former little sisters that have been genetically modified by Lamb and are out to stop you. They pop up once per level and generally make the big daddies look like wusses. The big sisters are fast and powerful, and fun to fight.

The campaign feels shorter than the first. I would guess it took me about 20 hours of playing, though I'm a complete scrounge and other could likely finish in about a dozen hours. Although brief, the pacing feels about right. If it were much longer, I think the familiarity of it would begin to drag it down. There is also multiplayer - the usual fair of capture the flag, territories, and the like, with a Rapture twist of course. This kind of thing doesn't really float my boat so I didn't give it a whirl. I can't see it dragging too many people away from Halo or Modern Warfare.

Overall, if you like the first you will likely enjoy this one too, though the overall familiarity and shorter campaign makes it feel more like large expansion pack as opposed to a stand alone game.

Story: 4
Interface: 4
Game Play: 4
Challenge: 4
Fun: 4

Overall: 8.5/10
Given 4 stars by LessrOf2Weevils
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Gunnar is Trill
174,334 (129,083)
Gunnar is Trill
TA Score for this game: 1,500
Posted on 08 May 10 at 01:04
This review has 19 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bioshock 2 is a sequel to one of the most acclaimed video games of all-time. The first game was credited for amazing storytelling, inventive gameplay, and an environment like no other, Rapture. In Bioshock 2 you return to a Rapture that's less mysterious than the first go around because we've been there before, but opens up new areas to explore.

One of the most noticeable differences from the first game is that your playing as a Big Daddy, searching for his lost little sister. Jack, the protagonist from the first game is no longer in the picture, and know it's the Big Daddy's time to be focused on. The game starts you off 10 years after the original game with you (Big Daddy Prototype) waking up only to find Big Sister is now in charge, and your little sister gone. The story revolves around your search for your little sister Elenore, meeting some interesting characters along the way.

The game isn't as long as the first but you won't be disappointed with what the game has to offer. The game now includes a multiplayer mode with quite a few modes to choose from

Survival of the Fittest
Civil War
Last Splicer Standing
Capture the Sister
ADAM Grab
Team ADAM Grab
Turf War

You can choose from a preset list of characters and choose your melee weapon and mask which don't really have an effect on how you play the game. Players rank up by earning adam from doing certain asks through the game. You unlock new tonics (special abilities similar to perks) plasmids, and weapons and weapon attachments. While this is nice there could've been more weapons and more attachments. The maps are based largely on single player levels from the first game. While the multiplayer is fun for a short while it soon becomes tedious and unfit to play. The simple amount of bullets needed to kill another player is enough to make players want to pull their hair out.

The gameplay from the single player and multiplayer modes are largely the same as the first game with a few new Big Daddy weapons thrown in as a bonus, but still nothing too interesting.

The game looks better than the first visually as well, with great lighting effects and a great attention to detail. Both single player and multiplayer levels look and feel fantastic.

A great game that lives up to the series name and all the expectations. 5/5
Given 5 stars by Gunnar is Trill
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x777x Infection
15,338 (10,325)
x777x Infection
TA Score for this game: 1,147
Posted on 08 April 11 at 04:09, Edited on 09 April 11 at 03:23
This review has 13 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Okay, my first game review, so here goes... This reveiw has been edited a bit, to make it more cohesive and easy to understand. i have also added several sections to it, to give a more full reveiw, allowing you, the players, to better understand me. i also added a multiplayer reveiw. Sorry about any spelling or grammer mistakes! redface

DONT WORRY, THIS REVEIW IS SPOILER FREE!clap

bioshock two. It has to do a lot of work in order to live up to the standard set by it's predecessor, but with a solid base set up, and pleanty of room to expand and develop the series should only get better... We hope. Read on to find out...

Visuals: the style of rapture hasn't changed a bit. Every thing I looked at reminded me of my first stroll through rapture, after being waterlogged and left to deteriorate. The graphics looked pretty solid on my NON HD television, so with HDMI the game probably looks amazing. The visuals also help to establish the world, with EVE hypos jammed into dead splicers, constantly changing lighting, and a variety of enemy models, I never once felt like I was in the same place, each level felt fresh and new, and everything I touched had it's own Unique feel. Never once did I get bored with the visuals. There were also some nice minor touches, like the constant prescience of the helmet around my screen, the effects of the water on my visuals, the scratches and chips on my weapons, even the hack meter oozed of pure bioshock feeling. Never once did i get betrayed by poor visuals, even in NON HD!clap

Audio: bioshock deserves to be listened to through surround sound. I used turtle beaches, with digital 5.1 surround sound, and full boosters for maximum sound quality. and it sounded absolutely amazing. musicsmilesmile I could hear splicers arguing, the soft splashing of water hitting my metal helmet, and beautiful voice acting on the various radio Comunications I had. Even without surround sound the audio was great, and the music that played throughout the game was sharp and clear as well. The mood was always very well supplemented by the music and audio, and every unusual sound added to the experiance, drawing me deeper.

Plot: I was hesitant to step back into rapture after the events of the first game, fearing that i might taint the experiance, but instead it only got better. I found myself hunting for every audio tape, hungry to hear about the storys and events of rapture. the storys like that of mark meltzer, or the whales brothers, were only made better with every tape i unearthed. I found myself turning off my chat volume and leaving my parties, trying to eliminate all of the distractions that might pull me away from raptures amazing tales. I was so drawn in that i managed to find ALL 128 AUDIO TAPES, WITH NO GUIDES!

Gameplay: the gameplay was solid to say the least. Every bit and peice was balanced perfectly, with every gun and plasmid having its own great and unique feel and details. At the start of the game i felt just like i should have, a friughtened man, alive ten years after shooting myself. for a good while as i played through i felt weak, ammo was scarce, i was always broke, and i never had enough health or eve to get by. By the time the end of the game rolled around i was finally well off enough that i felt great about it. I went from a frightened and powerless scuba diver to a big, angry, homicidal metal badass, with more than enough weapons and plasmids to keep me happy. I was pleased though, as i never felt like i was TOO powerfull, except when i played through on easy, just to mop up ONE stray acheivment. it was also very well set up in that a player could easily come into it after having played the origional, but at the same time any player who hadn't played the oprigional could still play the game without anny worry of being abandoned in plot, and could transition into the game with ease.

Replayability: I played the campaign twice in two days. I didnt play anything but bioshock for a good 48 hour period, twelve hours a day. even though the single player experiance is so set in its ways i found myself drawn in both times, watching every cinematic, even though i usually religiously skip them, and playing audio tapestwo or three times, hanging on every word, even though i had already listened to them the day before. When you add in a fifty level online multiplayer, complete with a prestige system, the protector trials DLC, and a new three level DLC, you get a recipie for greatness. Might need some salt though... laugh

Multiplayer: my multiplayer experiances with rapture were short, but fun. They rempnded me of the famed COD series, but with a more frantic and crazy feel. there were some odvious balancing issues, and the big daddy suit was MASSIVLY overpowered, but i also found some games where every player on my team was comunicating and working together, and we managed to for a really great team that won every game until we signed off, no matter what challenges we were faced with. The whole multiplayer experiance wasn't up to par with the standards set by halo, COD, or some other massive games, but it was definatly worth looking into, and any true fan of rapture would be able to apriciate its hidden beauty. It is DEFINATLY best played with a well organized team however, in which every player has their guns and plasmids set up to work with the rest of the team. Nothing wins a game faster than throwing a barrel at an enemy, just after your friend lit it on fire, Or throwing someone with a cyclone trap into some water, which your friend is zapping with his electrobolt. the point is that the multiplayer is good fun, and worth at least one playthrough for the acheivments, even if it does have some issues.

The Flaws? Some of you might be wondering, if i thought so highly of bioshock 2, why would i include any flaws sections? well, perfect games are like supermodels, they look so perfect every second that their flaws stand out like neon signs (for the record, i hate supermodels, no offence, i just prefer natural beauty). The main flaws were fairly straight forward. The guns were all really cool and unique, but a couple of them felt like re-used versions of bioshock 1 guns, like the rocket launcher and the machine gun. I also thought that the upgrades available for some guns were slightly stupid. I liked things like the special sights on the spear gun, and less fuel on the drill, even the revolving barrels for the shotgun, but some just felt weak. I hated the plain upgrades like the power increse for every gun, which almost always left the gun looking only marginally different. I was really hoping for something more creative and unique, things which would make each weapon transform into its own great and powerfull tool, making each of them better and more special than things like richoceing bullets, or a projectile reflecting drill. Things that would make them into tools of TRUE bioshock power, like an adam needle on the drill.

AFTERWORDS: bioshock 2 just rocks. Plain and simple. There were some moments where I screamed so loud it made everyone I was playing with laugh for insane amounts of time. The neighbors complained. My dog got scared. Every second felt as natural and exciting as i could ever hope for. The point? If you want a great game play bioshock. If you want a great HORROR game play bioshock with the lights off. And surround sound. Alone. And frightened. As splicers kill your face off. On the highest difficulty. Are you scared yet? I thought so.

Single player: 9.6 / 10 = You NEED to buy this game. Dont be the poor fool who misses out on the chance to explore rapture. i havent heard anything about the two latest DLC's, but as soon as i buy them both i'll edit this reveiw to include them.

Multiplayer: 6.8 / 10 = while it may not be good enough to shell out sixty dollars for just the multiplayer it is fun enough to play, and the acheivments never hurt either. its a good multiplayer for a game designed to be a single player experiance. NUF SAID.

Peace out- The Infection
Given 5 stars by x777x Infection
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DavieMarshall
192,815 (110,443)
DavieMarshall
TA Score for this game: 1,491
Posted on 16 March 10 at 10:48
This review has 18 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The original Bioshock was one of the greatest and most involving games I’d yet played on my Xbox 360. The story, the atmosphere, the sheer depth of the experience made it so much more than a game. Rapture was a real place. Living and breathing with hundreds of untold stories.

Despite this, I still worried that inevitably Bioshock 2 would appear and would be something of a let down. The main reason I thought this was that the original Bioshock was fuelled by Rapture. The fact it was so new, so unpredictable, and that there was so much to learn about it.

By the end of the game, Rapture felt almost homely, albeit in a macabre and twisted sense of word. The demise of Andrew Ryan and the truth of Frank Fontaine also meant that I felt any story placed after the events of Bioshock would lose some of their great anchors and influence.

However, I need not have feared, for Bioshock 2 is a triumphant return to Rapture. Set around eight years after the events of the initial Bioshock, Rapture now stands, bleeding profusely from every wound, yet as dark, sinister and uninviting as it ever did. From the second I took control, I was home again.

Sofia Lamb is our main antagonist throughout Bioshock 2. After toppling Andrew Ryan and his views of a ‘great chain’ society in which everyone pulled as one, for all, Sofia imparts her hopes for a ‘family’ who care not for themselves, but for ‘the greater good’.

Your role in all of this is as a Big Daddy. Specifically an Alpha series model, codenamed ‘Project Delta’. Delta is of the first generation of Big Daddy’s and was the first model successfully bonded with a Little Sister. Previous attempts had failed or destroyed the Big Daddy’s mentality to the point where they would become suicidal at the loss of the little on, or simply break down and weep.

Your assigned Little Sister is Eleanor Lamb, daughter of Sofia. In the opening cut scene Eleanor watches as you commit suicide at the command of Sofia Lamb’s mind control, and then… darkness.

Suddenly you awake from a Vita-Chamber, without any knowledge as to why, or how, but you quickly discover a vital piece of information. You MUST find Eleanor Lamb, before your conditioning causes your body and mind to shut down and death to follow.

The rest of the story flows gloriously, and the pockets of history hidden around Rapture in the form of audio-logs provide a detailed and colourful backdrop to the history and happenings of Rapture since the overthrowing of Andrew Ryan and Ryan Industries. The ‘levels’ are incredibly well constructed, and if you are a completionist, like myself, you will find each level can take up to three hours or more to fully explore, deconstruct and discover.

Playing as a Big Daddy you will of course have access to some of the most iconic weaponry associated with the fearsome brutes. The monstrous drill and crippling rivet gun at the heart of your arsenal. However, since being reborn through the Vita-Chamber, you are granted free will, and with it the ability to dual-wield Plasmids with your physical weapons ensuring you’re a deadly construction to any Splicer foolish to stand in your way.

Freed of your blinkered mind you will also be able to choose to adopt or harvest Little Sisters you find in Rapture, once you have challenged their Big Daddy to a dual of epic proportions and emerged victorious. Adopting a little one places them on your shoulder and allows them to lead you to ‘angels’ and harvest the Adam therein. Stay alert though, because as Splicers learn of the precious ADAM which is standing vulnerable on the ground, they will arrive, en-masse striking with sheer desperation to secure the ADAM they so desperately need.

This is where the game could have fallen down and become horribly repetitive, but each gather remains a massive struggle as a small war ensues between you and the rest of Rapture. You’re able to lay traps for Splicers in the form of Trap Rivets (motion activated rivet trip wires), electric spears, mini-turrets and proximity mines.

Attempting a gather on Hard mode without setting traps would be foolish as our friends the Leadhead, Thuggish and Houdini Splicers make a return along side their newest recruit, the Brute Splicer. After years of splicing relentlessly the affect is clear to see as these immense hulks hurl pillars, and debris at you, or simply try and charge you down head to head.

Once you have completed your gathers with your Little Sister (you may conduct two per little one you adopt before they become tired and ‘want to go to bed Mr Bubbles’) you can return them to a vent and choose to Save or Harvest them. Harvesting being the morally ‘evil’ choice of course, but rewarding you with greater amounts of ADAM.

Having gone through an iconic showdown to get to the Little Sister, a small war to gather the ADAM you won’t be allowed to rest as when you deal with a Little Sister, there’s a good chance their Big Sister will show up. Sporting Telekinesis, fire balls, agility a Big Daddy can only dream of and a piercing and disorientating shriek, Big Sisters are a formidable opponent, and they will not rest until one of you is dead.

Luckily there’s a host of new Plasmids at your disposal, such as the ability to call in Security Bots at a flick of the wrist. Outside of combat one of the most useful Plasmids is the ‘Scout’ upgrade. This allow you to leave your body and scout the upcoming areas, all whilst wielding any other Plasmid you have unlocked/bought and equipped.

The game ‘feels’ great too. The slight loss of vision around the very edges of the ‘camera’ where your helmet lies, the clunking of your boots as you trudge your way around Rapture, right down to the ‘pinging’ of bullets against your armour all makes it feel very solid, and very sturdy in it’s mechanics. It doesn’t feel like your in control of what is an effectively a floating camera as in some FPS games.

However, the true beauty of this game lies in it’s story telling ability, but you’d gain no thanks for dissecting this in a review when people are looking to purchase the game. Needless to say this game is almost perfection. At the time of writing the score for this title on Xbox LIVE (through the star rating system) clocks in at around 4.7 out of 5. An unbelievable score.

For me the game’s only issue was with the difficulty of the game. Being an experienced resident of Rapture, I jumped straight into Hard mode, which after a suitably difficult start which requires some real thought and attention to go into your play and offensive tactics, soon plays much like ‘Normal’ mode when you unlock the better Plasmids and Gene Tonics.

Ammo is too easy to come by, and by the end of the game I was completely maxed out on all available ammo types, first aid kits and EVE hypos. This still doesn’t detract from the game though as, after all, you’re a Big Daddy, and those guys don’t go down easy. Not at all. So it does help give you a feeling of superiority as you thunder through the halls of a dying city.

This is one of the few games (with the original Bioshock figuring into this number) that I’ve been genuinely excited to play. Like a great book which leaves you wanting one more paragraph, just one more page, just this next chapter. Bioshock 2 is a stunningly good game.

Buy it. Play it. Love it.

Rapture’s waiting.
Given 5 stars by DavieMarshall
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Lavindathar
488,655 (297,912)
Lavindathar
TA Score for this game: 2,267
Posted on 01 August 11 at 13:31
This review has 11 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Protector Trials DLC ONLY Review

I know what you're thinking. Bioshock DLC? No thankyou.

I can understand that. 2k Games have managed to develop two of the greatest titles for the Xbox 360 in Bioshock and it's sequel, but they have always seriously failed with the Bioshock 2 DLC. First there was the Sinclair Solutions Test Pack - 400 points for a few skins and masks that was completely nullified by its followup DLC, the Rapture Metro Pack ; and boy, let's not get started on that. 800msp for 6 maps that are completely unplayable online? An increased level cap that was already given in the previous DLC? If we ran a vote, I'm sure this would come out as the most overpriced piece of DLC ever created for what you get. Because you get nothing.

So, when 2k Games announced TPT, it was met with heavy sighs and arched backs. More DLC. But there was a key difference. A fundamental key difference. A monumental key difference.....It said "single player" in the press release. Single player DLC? It got people waiting with baited breath.

So, Bioshocks 2 first piece of single player hit the marketplace, and the first thing to take note of was the price. Clocking in at only 400 msp, it was bound to get a high majority of the devoted fans interested from the get go, and the amazing thing is, 2k games have gone from the most overpriced piece of DLC in recent times, to quite possibly the best value for money one.

So, the DLC itself. What is a protector trial then I hear you ask? Well, it's a cross between Horde and CTF I guess for Bioshock 2. Remember during the campaign where your little sister was harvesting her corpses for ADAM? Well, this is basically it.

So, you're back again playing as a Big Daddy deep beneath the sea. You are placed one of the 6 locations with a little sister, a corpse, and a selection of weapons, plasmids and tonics that are preset and not elligible to change. The general idea is to place your little sister at the corpse, then defend her from the oncoming masses of Splicers while she attempts to harvest her bounty.

It features 6 all new locations in Bioshock 2, and to give you a sense of scale, each map is roughly a third of the size of the multiplayer maps that shipped with the game. The maps are beautifuly made, much the same as the rest of Rapture. Each map will feature one vending machine, one ammo machine, and possibly health machines and turrets. It then becomes the players decision of whether they risk leaving their sister to make a mad dash for the machines for supplies, or whether they stick it out and chance it.

In total, there are three trials on each map, giving a total of 18 trials. Plus, one bonus trial for each map brings the grand total to 24 trials included with the DLC. Not a bad amount for 400 msp?

The real challenge with TPT, is that you do not choose your weapons, tonics or plasmids. They are already set, so you basically have to make do with what you are given. Some of the combos they present you with are quite interesting, and at the start you'll possibly think that it's not even possible to get through this. I felt this on the one where you are given no weapons with the exception of traps. Let's put it this way, it was interesting. But more importantly, it was actually great fun.

Each trial will last approximately 4-6 minutes, which is great for just pick up and play fans. Not got a lot of time to spare on the game? No problem, instead of jumping on Trials HD for one more attempt at that track, you've now also got time to jump into TPT and give one a fast blast.

If you manage to finish the trial, each one comes with a standard schoolyard ranking, with A+ being the highest. A+ is obtained for obtaining 100% of the ADAM, and the marks then drop depending on how many times your little sister gets hit corresponding to the amount of ADAM she failed to harvest. A differnet amount of stars will be awarded upoin completion of the trials, with a maximum of 36 to obtain.

I only have one concern with this so far, and that is the difficulty. When I first started it, I thought "Boy, this is hard". Yet within a few minutes I was into the swing of things, and then got A+/A on the next 8 trials in a row. If you take the time to explore the level before hand, hack/learn the locations of the vendors, examine your plasmids and weapons....you should basically know what you're going to do before it starts. And then it's just a case of execution. All the DLC needed, was adjustable difficulty. Find them to easy? Well then let me turn into onto super extreme ninja hard mode. Unfortunately, this isn't present, and we are stuck with just the one difficulty.

Everyone likes achievments, so I'll mention them. All in all, they are fairly easy achievments. 7 new ones for 100g, bringing the total for the game to 1250. Completing all trials recieves most of the achievments, as well as the trickier ones - Obtaining 100% of ADAM on one trial, getting A rank on all trials, and completing all the bonus trials.

Overall, this piece of DLC is great value, and I urge anyone who owns the game to get it bought. 400 msp, for a few hours play. And where as you may drop this, the great thing is, chances are you will go back to it in the future just to pass the time.

Pros

* Set in the stunning Rapture
* Easy to jump right in when you're short on time
* Horde (slash) CTF but with Plasmids, Drills and Spear Guns!
* Incredibly cheap at 400msp.

Cons
* Once you've got the hang of it, you might find it too easy. There's no adjustable difficulty.

Overall, factoring in the cost, a solid 8/10.
Given 5 stars by Lavindathar
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McKamey
50,274 (38,405)
McKamey
TA Score for this game: 986
Posted on 03 April 10 at 07:19, Edited on 03 April 10 at 07:29
This review has 12 positive votes and 14 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Even though it is the sequal to the game of the year, it is not as good. Although equally fun to play and one of the best non COD FPS games around, it does not compare to the first.

This game does have equally awesome graphics and has incorporated a new multiplayer system, somewhat continuing the Biosock legacy.

Even though I highly enjoyed playing this game, being a huge Bioshock fan, it had some let downs. The whole idea of being a big daddy is awesome and all, it just doesn't seem as BA as watching them throw around splicers and using rediculous ammounts of ammo in the process of fighting them in the first game. And the story that accompanies the gameplay is not as well put together of enjoyable as the first.

And now to the multiplayer, the idea is great and it's sorta fun to play, but it just didn't get pulled off the way it was more than likely intended. There rarely seems to be enough people online at one time to pull off playing a round of 'Civil War' or any of the other multiplayer modes, making getting the multiplayer acheivement near impossible and obsolete. Also the graphics are a bit questionable, they dont flow as well as the regular gameplay, which should be expected being a Bioshock addition, and seem a bit blocky.

Even though the multiplayer was a let down, game concept kinda sucked, and this doesn't compare to the first I would sill recommend this game to play because it is still pretty enjoyable and a fun play.
Given 4 stars by McKamey
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